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"Philippine Federalism: More National-Level Politicians" by Malcolm Cook

2018/79, 6 July 2018 On Monday, the Consultative Committee to review the 1987 Constitution is scheduled to submit a draft constitution to President Duterte that would transform the Philippines from a unitary to a federal system. The next two steps on the road to a federal Philippines are for the…
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“The 2018 Indonesian Local Elections Results: 'Rehearsal' for Party Machinery and Mobilization of Identity-Politics” by Deasy Simandjuntak

2018/78, 6 July 2018 Indonesian voters in 171 regions have voted for governors, district-heads and mayors on 27 June 2018. With 152 million eligible voters and a voter-turnout of 73.24% based on quick count results thus far, not only was this years’ elections among the largest in the world, but…
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"Vietnam’s Anti-corruption Campaign: How much is it about Political Infighting?" by Le Hong Hiep

2018/77, 5 July 2018 On 30 June 2018, the Inspectorate Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) announced that it had expelled former chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) Tran Bac Ha and former chairman of state-owned mobile carrier MobiFone Le Nam Tra from…
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"Seven Southeast Asian Countries Fly the Flag at RIMPAC 2018" by Ian Storey

2018/76, 4 July 2018 Southeast Asia’s presence at the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii is the largest since the biennial naval drills began in 1971. The world’s largest multilateral naval exercises began on 27 June and will end on 2 August. RIMPAC 2018 involves 26 countries,…
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"Mahathir’s Cabinet Reflects New Power Dynamics" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/75, 2 July 2018 Malaysia’s long wait for the appointment of its full cabinet is finally over. Thirteen ministers and twenty-three deputy ministers were sworn-in before the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V on 2 July 2018. This was a significant milestone for the new Pakatan Harapan government, which brought…
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"Reviewing Mahathir’s and Malaysia’s Foreign Policy" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/74, 22 June 2018On the surface, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Japan from 9-12 June 2018 should not have raised any eyebrows. After all, he was in Tokyo at the invitation of Nikkei Shimbun to speak at the 24th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia, a high-level international…
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"How ASEAN Supports the Korean Peninsula Peace Process" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/73, 14 June 2018 The historic meeting between US President, Donald Trump, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) State Affairs Commission Chairman, Mr Kim Jong Un, in Singapore on 12 June 2018, was the first ever between a sitting US President and a DPRK leader. The meeting produced…
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"President Trump’s Backward Steps on Forward Defense" by Malcolm Cook

2018/72, 13 June 2018 The commitment to forward defense by successive US administrations is the basis for the US network of alliances and security partnerships in East Asia. Forward defense posits that it is better to address potential overseas threats to the US homeland and deter potential overseas conflicts that…
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"Duterte’s China Problems" by Malcolm Cook

2018/71, 12 June 2018 President Duterte’s accommodationist approach to China and Chinese aggressive actions in the Philippine exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea is starting to run into domestic political problems. Chinese actions in the West Philippine Sea appear to contradict agreements President Duterte claims he has reached…
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“China’s Infrastructure Strategy under Review in Malaysia” by Tang Siew Mun

2018/70, 8 June 2018 Chinese mega-projects in Malaysia have come under intense scrutiny under the Pakatan Harapan government. Within weeks of taking over the government, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pledged to review all mega-project deals signed by the Najib administration to ascertain their financial viability and the government’s ability to…
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